At Foundry Group, we take a strong interest in the policy and legal ecosystem that affects the start up industry. We’ve been among the first to support initiatives like Startup Visa and patent reform and have been active in city, state and national politics in the hopes of keeping the U.S. the center of the startup world.
I’ve recently left the NVCA board after my four-year term was up. During that time I took a particular interest in SOPA/PIPA (glad that blew up, but keep your eyes open, there are still folks out there trying) and I’m proud to say that the association has a permanent IT policy group that did not exist before I joined. High on the list of issues going forward certainly will be around Cybersecurity and more patent reform.
Recently, our company signed onto an amicus brief that might be the most important issue that we’ve faced. In short, Oracle is threatening to chill innovation in the software industry by arguing that APIs are copyrightable. Google is the defendant and should Oracle win this case, the implications are disastrous for our startup ecosystem and our economy.
Thankfully the folks at the University of California, Berkeley, spearheaded by Jennifer Urban see this as a major threat as well and wrote a cogent and powerful amicus brief to the court. The list of signatories to the brief are here and represent a wide constituency of the industry.
Thank you Jennifer and team for your tireless efforts. Startup land: please support and help recognize these important efforts.